Auto Tech

Hyundai plans for 'fully' self-driving cars in 2030

The automaker's vision: "partially automated driving in 2015, highly automated driving in 2020 and fully automated driving in 2030."

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Hyundai tests its self-driving system's ability to keep a car in its lane. Hyundai

Hyundai is investing heavily in self-driving cars and expects autonomous cars to appear on our roads by 2030.

Self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles made possible through networking and advanced computer systems have piqued the interest of automakers and technology firms worldwide. Hazard sensors, rear-facing cameras and vehicle operating systems -- such as Apple's CarPlay and Google's Android Auto -- are coming out in today's new cars and are baby steps toward fully autonomous vehicles.

Google, General Motors and Mercedes are all pushing ahead with developing the technology required for this concept, but South Korean automaker Hyundai is working to catch up.

At a demonstration Tuesday west of Seoul, the Korea Herald reported, Hyundai executives said the company is pushing for the commercialization of autonomous vehicles "in phases" from 2020, with the overall aim of fully autonomous driving in 2030.

The company is adopting a highway driving-assistance system in its vehicles during the second half of this year and plans to move ahead with a "traffic jam assist system." The system detects and analyzes other cars and obstacles, helping the driver navigate through congestion with a minimum of effort.

These kinds of technology mark the first of multiple steps that Hyundai plans to take in developing fully self-driving cars. The firm says it plans to commercialize semi-autonomous vehicles from 2020, once the technology to "maximize" driver safety in different conditions is fully functional.

"We aim to provide partially automated driving in 2015, highly automated driving in 2020 and fully automated driving in 2030," a company exec said at Tuesday's event, according to the Korea Herald.

In January, Hyundai said it would invest 80.7 trillion won ($73.3 billion) in the smartcar industry over the next four years. Two new factories are slated for construction in China and Russia. In addition, the automaker plans to hire over 7,000 new researchers and engineers to develop smarter vehicles.

This story originally posted as "Hyundai pushes for commercial self-driving cars by 2020" on ZDNet.